Good god, indies. You're beautiful. Each and every one of you. Yes, even the ones with the wierder-than-Picasso visuals or the ones with ferret-like things getting devoured by demonic otters. You're all gorgeous.
Right as I was settling down to write this, someone on Twitter trumpeted, "Holy wow, this game looks amazing!" It's a link to a Kickstarter. I'm a little suspicious, but I click it, anyway; proclamations like that are like big, red buttons labeled 'Do not touch' to journalists. We'll click it, be mad if you were lying, but click it, anyway.
Verdict? Holy wow, it's pretty. The tagline for the Legend of Iya says it all: an epic metroidvania adventure built of beautiful pixels. The pixel artist behind Legends of Iya calls it a 'never-ending passion project.' "The game has seen at least half a dozen iterations, each time dying, but being reborn as some kind of stubborn freaking phoenix." darkfalzx says. And honestly, it shows. Legend of Iya is, to abuse the old adage, a labor of love and a loving homage to 16-bit sidescrolling delights of yore.
It also has a steel-plated, elephant boss with gatling guns for tusks. Here's my money, darkfalzx. Take it.
Speaking of pretty things, have you seen The Adventure? I hadn't up up till quite recently, and I'm not really sure why. It's absolutely gorgeous, slightly Eskil Steenberg in design and just bristling with color. So much color. The developers call it an 'online co-op Zelda-like games, with no levels, experience or classes.' Everything in this open-world, sandbox game, it would appear, is dependent on your attire. So, dress to impress?
There's an alpha you can register for if anyone's interested in getting in on ground zero. I've put my name into it. If I get into the Alpha, I'll let you know if there are copious amounts of pots to smash.
Animals Do It Better
According to what I've read on TIGsource, the toothy, otter-like things in Rain World are not, in fact, otters but rather lizards. Still, a psychedelic-looking otter by any other name is just as 'Ahmygodgetiawaygetitawaygetitaway'-inducing. I mean, look at that gif. Look at those fangs. It's mesmerizing and terrifying and completely horrific in the best possible way. I think. Mainstream games may want to take a leaf out of this guy's book in regards to making heartbreakingly brutal sequences. Eeesh.
Project Rain World has been around since 2012 and it's supposed to be a 'sneaker/action platformer.' Clumsy description aside, Rain World really is as spectacular as that initial gif suggests. The TIGsource thread dedicated to the game is about 35 pages strong and, somewhere between all the congratulatory statements, there's mention of how it's going to include 4-player co-op. If you're feeling rather dazzled and want to get your hands on something pertinent to the game, here's the old prototype to play with.
But, enough about grotesque yet colorful creatures. Let's have something more light-hearted instead. New Horizon Games' Combat Cats found its way onto my radar at some point this week and never left. How could it? Combat Cats has a veritable platoon of cats. It has goldfish in bowls astride humanoid, laser-wielding torsos. It uses Bejeweled as a core mechanic, something that probably went over rather well with the casual crowd. Small wonder that Combat Cats reached its funding goal on Kickstarter so easily. Internet-friendly graphics aside, Combat Cats as an entity itself sounds rather interesting. It's essentially one of those games where you fly around in a space ship and shoot stuff. Now, here's where the Bejeweled aspect factors in. If you succeed in detonating a line of poison bricks, your ammunition will then become venomous. Don't ask how that works. This is, after all, a game about spaceship-flying, catnip-loving cats.
While the summer heat appears to have been detrimental to the communication skills of various big-budget companies, the little guys in our industry seem to be thriving. A whole bunch of interesting items surfaced this week. Viscera Cleanup Detail, which I wrote about a few days ago, has pretty much exploded on the Internet. Everyone is now talking about it. At this point, it'd require the wrath of Gaben to keep the janitor simulator off Steam. Instead of resting on their laurels, Anodyne's creators, Sean Hogan and Jonathan Kittaka, are hard at work manufacturing their next title, an 'adventure, action-platforming-with-little-to-no-killing' game called Even the Ocean.
"You are Aliph, a member of a repair team, balancing your internal energies and maintaining your town's power sources, located in natural and constructed structures throughout the world - canyons, excavated caves, etc. Aliph's world is located within the reoccurring dream of Even, a woman whose life will be followed for a short period of time, in conjunction with Aliph's adventure."
Quite meta, no? Thanks to Even the Ocean, I can't help but start wondering what if we're nothing but the fevered nightmares of a giant, yellow sea slug.
Last, but not least, have some promotional artwork by Gabriel Verdon. These magnificent pieces were made for a game called Oblitus, a side-scrolling affair that apparently draws considerable amounts of inspiration from Dark Souls. I'm game.
Indies Did This is a weekly column that highlights amazing indie games that are still in development. If you know of any work-in-progress titles we should be taking a look at, don't hesitate to leave a comment, send signals or tweet at @casskhaw incessantly.